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After additional medicals, Josh Koscheck cleared by CSAC to fight at Bellator 172

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Josh Koscheck weighs in successfully Friday for Bellator 172.
Josh Koscheck weighs in successfully Friday for Bellator 172.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Josh Koscheck missed Thursday’s Bellator 172 media day, because he was getting additional medical testing. But the veteran welterweight fighter is now good to go for the card.

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) cleared Koscheck on Friday morning and granted him a license to fight, CSAC executive officer Andy Foster confirmed with MMA Fighting. Koscheck, the former longtime UFC welterweight contender, will meet Mauricio Alonso on Saturday night in San Jose, Calif.

“The Commission requested additional information to support his license application,” Foster said in a statement. “We received that information yesterday and it was thoroughly reviewed.”

Koscheck weighed in successfully at 169.9 pounds Friday morning.

Foster would not say what necessitated the need for further information. But sources told MMA Fighting that CSAC was concerned about an interview Koscheck did with MMAjunkie that detailed issues the fighter was having with his neck.

Koscheck, 39, had two vertebrae fused in 2001 prior to his fighting career and “more recently he suffered bulging discs both above and below the site of the surgery, leaving him with painful nerve damage that left him almost incapable of using his left arm,” MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes wrote in a story that published Wednesday.

Bellator had no comment on the situation.

The scenario is reminiscent to December when the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) pulled Cain Velasquez from his fight with Fabricio Werdum at UFC 207 after Velasquez talked about a back injury and needing surgery with ESPN.

CSAC also looked into a Luke Rockhold knee injury when he said in a press conference before UFC 199 last June that he had a torn MCL. Rockhold, like Koscheck now, ultimately got cleared after an additional inquiry.

Koscheck (17-10), a former UFC No. 1 contender, has not fought since a March 2015 loss to Erick Silva in the UFC. He’s on a five-fight losing streak, but three of those came against current or former UFC welterweight champions Johny Hendricks, Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley. Koscheck, who competed on The Ultimate Fighter 1, signed with Bellator in June 2015 after his UFC contract expired.

Bellator 172 is headlined by a heavyweight fight between legend Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione. In the co-main event, Josh Thomson faces Patricky Pitbull in a lightweight bout.